Spain in-depth: Camino de Santiago

Top tourist attractions in Santiago de Compostela

Camino de Santiago: The Primitivo and other "Caminos"
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Top tourist attractions in Santiago de Compostela

Santiago, is the third pilgrimage destination for the Catholic religion after Jerusalem and Rome. Every year, thousands of pilgrims follow the traditional path of Santiago by foot, bicycle or horseback to reach the Cathedral where the Holy Sepulcher is.

There are many reasons to visit Santiago in addition to it being the final destination of the pilgrimage. Besides its main tourist attractions of monuments and museums, the city has an incessant cultural agenda with arts, entertainment and leisure time activities offered throughout the year such as music, lectures, theater, cinema, concerts, exhibitions and festivals.

The historical center has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO with its streets and squares full of monuments from various architectural movements. Beginning with the most outstanding work of Romanesque art such as the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, followed by the plateresque portal of the Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos 1501, a current state-run hotel (Parador Nacional), and finally, the former Renaissance style San Roque Hospital connected to its baroque church, and the nearby baroque convent of Santa Clara. Convents, monasteries and medieval churches complete the monumental heritage of Santiago. 

 

The gastronomy of Santiago is an active cultural part of the city. The range of restaurants, bars and taverns is spectacular with prices to suit all budgets and a common denominator of quality. Try the local produce, especially seafood, fish and Galician beef.

The Galician wines can be sampled at the many tapas bars of Santiago. One can taste wines from the five Galician Denominations of Origin. The ‘Albariño’ of the Rias Baixas region are among the best whites in the world. The ‘Godello’ (D.O. Valdeorras) is beginning to stand out for its quality. Among the reds is the ‘Mencia’ (D.O. Ribeira Sacra) born 20 centuries ago to satisfy the palates of the Roman emperors. And finally the two wines of Orense, the ‘Ribeiro’, which offers both white and red, and the ‘Monterrei’ wines with low acidity. 

The Celebrations. Santiago is very popular for its celebrations in which tradition and folklore play an essential role. Music, dance, games and color fill the squares on important holidays and key dates. Above all, the Festivals of St. James in the month of July, have earned the honorary distinction of Fiestas of International Tourist Interest.

The university environment. Santiago’s university welcomes 33,000 students each year. This university spirit spreads joy and vitality throughout the city giving it a very special atmosphere.

And of course, don’t miss Santiago by night when bars, pubs and nightclubs open their doors. At night, special lights are cast on the streets of the historic city. The nostalgic yellow lighting embellishes monuments, softening the edges and contributing to the timeless atmosphere of Santiago.

Santiago is the capital of Galicia, the door to the Galician community and the city with a wider offer of accomodation in the region.  Galicia is a place in which nature and gastronomy delight tourists along with its wealth of monuments, extensive historical heritage, mountain landscapes and stunning coastlines where magical legends of sailors and mermaids are hidden among the cliffs. The cathedrals of the sea, the Tower of Hercules, the cliffs of Vixia Herbeira, or the Cies Islands are just a few of Galicia’s treasures.

Top Attractions in Santiago de Compostela

Monasterio de San Martin Pinario

San Martin Pinario monastery- Santiago de Compostela

Why do we recommend San Martin Pinario Monastery? This monastery is opposite to the north façade of the Cathedral. It is the second-largest monastery in Spain after the Monastery of El Escorial near Madrid. This monastery is closely linked to the history of Santiago de Compostela. Built as an oratory in 912, it was extended in 1109 by Gelmirez. For a time, it ruled 32

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Top tourist attractions in Santiago de Compostela

Alameda Park in Santiago de Compostela

Why do we recommend Alameda Park? There are many Parks in Santiago de Compostela and, as a matter of fact, you will be able to spot greenery from many of the streets of the old quarter. Out of all the parks, la Alameda, as locals refer to it, is probably the most accessible and interesting for tourists. It is very close to the Cathedral and

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University of Santiago

University of Santiago de Compostela and Fonseca

Why do we recommend University of Santiago? This is one of Spain´s oldest universities. It was founded in 1501 though the present building was built between 1769 and 1805. It was designed by Melchor del Prado and altered by famous architect Ventura Rodriguez. The building was extended at the end of the XIX century. The great hall contains fantastic frescos, and the library (late 18th

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Hospital Real (hostal de los Reyes Católicos)

Hospital Real (hostal de los Reyes Católicos)- Santiago de Compostela

Why do we recommend Hospital Real (hostal de los Reyes Católicos)? Located on the northern side of the Plaza del Obradoiro this hospital was founded by Ferdinand and Isabella. For centuries this was a pilgrim hostel and then it was changed into a Parador (luxury hotel chain owned by the Spanish state) . The lovely portal, with plateresque features is the work of French artists.

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Santiago food market (Mercado de Abastos)

Santiago food market (Mercado de Abastos)- Santiago de Compostela

Why do we recommend Santiago food market (Mercado de Abastos)? This colorful permanent market is a vibrant space where locals and tourists alike mingle every day. The market is open every day except Sundays and on holidays. The food market of Santiago was established 3 centuries ago, and it was always in the same location. The current building was built in 1941 after the demolition

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Top tourist attractions in Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

The goal of the streams of pilgrims that arrive in Santiago de Compostela is the Plaza de España, or Plaza del Obradoiro – which means the square of goldwork. Stately buildings surround the Plaza, including the superb façade of the cathedral: one of the most beautiful churches on the Iberian peninsula. Recommended guided tour to Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

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